Primitive Love (1964) from Brainscan and Tuna

Brainscan's comments in yellow:

Remember the one about the guy who went to a fight and a hockey game broke out? I know how he feels.

I rented a movie and a travelogue broke out. Well, that'a lie. Two, in fact.

I didn't rent a movie. I rented an American-Italian production on celluloid film called Primitive Love (1964). A thing. Couldn't call it a movie. Shouldn't, at least.

And it wasn't a real travelogue. Most of it wasn't. It was a fake travelogue in which the producers attempted to use a National Geographic exemption to get some tits and ass into their... thing.

Lemme explain. In Primitive Love, Jayne Mansfield the actress plays Jayne Mansfield the noted cultural anthropologist (Jayne in a dark wig - she's supposed to be an Hawaiian native), who has come to town to show her documentary on tribal mating rituals to a professor-type person.

As she checks into her hotel she is spotted by a pair of porters who want nothing more in life than to get a good look at Jayne's hooters. And so they drop everything else they might be doing to spy on Jayne as she dresses, undresses, redresses and reundresses. The "actors" who play the porters mug so shamelessly they make Jim Carrey at his most florid and frenetic appear like Morgan Freeman at his most restrained and elegant. Words can't adequately describe them, so I grabbed a couple of frames just to show y'all. Mind you, these are not the worst of their respective performances... just a couple of frames from late in the movie.

  • Here are the two porters. It hurts just to look at them.

Okay, back to Jayne. Throughout the movie... I mean, thing... you see her in cleavage-revealing clothing. And if you know anything about Ms. Mansfield (who was Hefmate of the month for Feb 1955....forty-nine years ago!) it was that she had some major cleavage to reveal.

One section is particularly interesting because it shows Jayne doing a striptease. This comes at the end of things as our anthropologist-heroine attempts to prove that she can bedazzle and bewitch the pair of porters. But Jayne never gives up some goodies in this film.

And that makes some sense because it was 1964 and even in Italy very few movies had stars in their birthday suits. What to do, then, if you want to show off somebody's T's and A? The answer comes in the middle 25 minutes, as Jayne shows the professor her 8mm film. Throughout it, women who are far too well-dressed, well-coiffed or light-skinned to be real natives dance, fish, recline and run around topless. I counted six such native-babes. The producers must have figured that the only respectable way to show skin in the early sixties was to package it as a National Geographic-like documentary. It can't be dirty if it's natural, I guess, even if the principals are native to San Remo, not the Serengeti.

IMDB has this one rated a respectable 5.2/10 and the only comments about it are positive. Hey, I like odd movies but this I do not get. The movie, er...thing, pissed me off something fierce. I despised the porters and the guys who played them, I was bored by the lack of a plot, annoyed by the 25-minute-long psuedo-documentary and aggravated by Jayne's constant, no-reward teasing. Bad is one thing. Relentlessly stupid and proud of it? Well, that is something else altogether different... and this one is as relentless and as proud of its stupidity as any thing I've ever seen.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Primitive Love (1964) is an Italian exploitation film with the gaff (to lure in the suckers) and the square (to make everything ok) in the same film. The gaff? A film named Primitive Love staring Jayne Mansfield. The square? Lots of native breasts a la National Geographic. 

Jayne checks into a hotel, calls her professor, then parades around in lingerie. This is noticed by two lust-filled bellboys who pop in and out for what is supposed to be comic relief. When her professor arrives, she informs him that her thesis is that mankind has not progressed from the primitives when it comes to love and sex. She then, for most of the film, shows him footage she supposedly shot of native courting rituals, liberally sprinkled with breasts.


see the main commentary

DVD info from Amazon.

  • fullscreen

  • drive-in intermission ads

  • two short subjects

Finally, at the end, Jane strips to her undies, and finally bares her breasts with the old arm cover routine to prove her point. 

As you might have guessed, this is a new offering from Something Weird Video, and is chiefly interesting as a great example of the genre. Nothing is listed at IMDB in the way of ratings, reviews, etc. This is an F by nearly any standard, except as a curiosity. However, it is a prized part of my collection for its historical significance. It also helps that it is another great restoration job by SWV from very old source material. 

The Critics Vote

  • none

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.2
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F, but a fascinating one.

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